Sea Fringe

Barbara BRASH
Australian 1925–1998

Sea fringe 1963
colour screenprint on Japanese paper; edition of 40
Geelong Gallery
Gift of Moira Eckel through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, 2017
© the estate of the artist


Printed on Japanese paper from eight separate stencils, Sea fringe explores the interplay of light and water. Brash portrays this other-worldy seascape with an economy of form, reducing the earth, sky and ocean to elemental volumes and blocks of colour. ‘Strangely, the paper itself seemed to suggest the colours and shapes I used’, Brash revealed of the work in an interview with The Sun in 1963.

Alternating bands of grey and yellow are suggestive of the optical distortions caused by a mirage; this effect accentuated by a floating triangular island and its constellation of repeated orbs that are unfixed to any discernible horizon line. The organically curved grey form can be read as a fleeting reflection, its irregular and dissipating edges held in distinct contrast to the clean skins of ink and delineated forms that populate the rest of the composition. 

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Read by a voluntary Geelong Gallery Guide